Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bill's Bad Ass FA 50K

This morning I woke up around 5:30 and headed over to the Covered Bridge in the Cuyahoga Valley for the 1st Annual Bills' Bad Ass 50K. This free FA run consisted of six 5-mile loops of the Perkins/Riding Run Trail with the last mile going up a bunch of steps to the top of Oak Hill.

The drive over this morning was very nice with the sun rising and a very thin crescent moon in the sky. My plan was to meet Mike Keller and Brett Shriver at 6:30 so that I could get in an early loop before everyone else started. Mike & Brett had already finished one loop when I arrived. The temperature this morning was pretty chilly, but as the day progressed the high temperature got up into the mid-upper 60's! We are still having unseasonably warm weather for this time of the year but nobody is complaining.

So, after parking at the Church in the Valley I jogged about a quarter mile down the road and met Mike and Brett at the Covered Bridge. Mike had to move his vehicle over to the church lot so Brett and I took off ahead of him. On this loop we probably saw about 3-4 deer with one of them having a nice rack. Since we've been having a lot of warm, dry weather lately, the course was in pretty decent shape. Very unusual for this trail since it's usually muddy and rutted due to horses traveling on it. The only thing we had to watch out for were the stream crossings and all the rocks and roots hidden underneath the leaves. A couple times I thought I was heading for the ground but somehow saved myself from falling.

Brett and I got back to the parking lot after our first loop just as everyone was beginning to gather for the official start. It was awesome to once again see so many familiar faces and be able to catch up with those that I haven't seen for awhile. After a brief course overview from Chef Bill Bailey he gave us the go ahead and we were off.

My first and second loops seemed to go by pretty quick since everyone was together and chatting. The third loop I began to feel a little fatigue but it mainly hit me on the fourth loop as I figured it would. Overall though my body felt pretty good and I was able to run almost every loop in around an hour. I can tell that my endurance base from my recent ultras is paying off and helping to keep me strong during and after my runs. The weather today also made it very enjoyable to just be out there in the woods.

Me & Kirk
The middle part of the run I spent some time with Kirk Harrison, Bob Drake, "Pacer Marie", and both Bills'. The 4th loop I was alone for quite awhile but then ran into Mike Kazar on the trail. When I arrived back at the parking lot to start my last loop Mike Keller was there, so I decided to do the entire 5th loop with him since he lives in Columbus now and I don't get to see him as often as I used to. After finishing our last loop we now had to head up to the top of Oak Hill and pick up a Dum Dum lollipop (I chose the Pink Lemonade flavor) to prove that we had finished. This last climb wasn't too bad today, but if the course is muddier in the future it will definitely add insult to injury. I ended up finishing with a time of 6:53. Not bad considering all the breaks I took.

Mike & I
Overall, I had a blast today and would like to thank Bill Wagner & Bill Bailey for organizing a great run which included free aid and a free tech shirt to those who finished the entire 50K. Here's a picture of what this year's shirt looked like. I thought the logo was pretty cool and am already looking forward to next year's event...

Afterwards I stopped by the Winking Lizard in Peninsula with Bob Combs and we enjoyed a couple microbrews on the patio. Then later on Tami and I then headed over to Chagrin Falls for a free clambake with a bunch of other runners. It was a perfect ending to a perfect day!


Jeff said...

That deer had a nice rack huh?

Brian said...

You betcha!

ultrarunner (Brian Philpot) said...

Sure sounds like everybody had fun, I will check it out next year!

Laurie said...

Nice report! I loved the shirts, the weather was awesome. Nice run!